Office buzzwords you love to hate
'Outside the box' should be banned
Are there office clichés that you find overused, tiresome and extremely annoying? Take "outside the box." "Outside the bun" is clever; "outside the box" is not. Thankfully, that phrase is no longer around -- after a long and painful death.
You can compare your most hated phrases with those selected by a variety of executives, reports Marlys Harris, The Consumer Reporter at CBS MoneyWatch.com. Marlys shares results from Accountemps, which did the survey, in a post called "Words you should never use at the office unless you have to." She also offers her own often hilarious translations.
For example, Marlys wrote: "Value-add. A gain, usually financial. Example: "She refuses to donate to charity unless she sees some value-add, say, eternal salvation."
The list includes "reach out," "circle back," "game changer," "disconnect," "interface," "viral" and "cutting edge." Here are a few more, in Marlys' words:
- Leverage. Deployment of an insufficient amount of something to do that which was previously done with much more. Example: "After the layoffs, we can leverage our staff of three to cover the entire Eastern seaboard."
- It is what it is. Get used to it. Example: "Your administrative assistant doesn't know how to answer the phone. It is what it is."
This list reminds us of one of the things we miss about office work. Righteous indignation toward co-workers is difficult to come by when you work at home alone.
But Marlys' little exercise is fun. Let's all try it. Here's ours:
- At the end of the day. When it's all said and done (OK, another cliché, but at least it's not painful). Example: "At the end of the day, I knew you were incapable of original thought."
Do you have an office cliché that you love to hate?
Published Sept. 1, 2009
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
New York's mayor says a composting program would save millions. It's a great frugal hack for anybody, anywhere. Here's how to get started.